Climate smart farmers get tech savvy to save India’s bread basket
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
KARNAL (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Erratic weather, rising temperatures, declining water resources and labour shortages are threatening India’s bread basket state of Haryana, forcing farmers to abandon age-old practices and adopt technology to ensure food supplies for millions.
Using machines which sow rice directly, devices to inform when to irrigate and phone messages warning of infestations, thousands of farmers are learning to adapt to climate change, boost soil fertility and reduce their carbon emissions.
“At first, many farmers were unsure. It’s a big risk to change the way you have farmed for decades and try new things. Agriculture in these parts is not just a livelihood, it’s a way of life,” said Harpreet Singh, 36, a farmer in the village of Birnaraya, 130 km (80 miles) north of Delhi.